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  • Writer's pictureThe Woodgate Team

Anna Sidat: How a Kickboxing Gold Medal Shaped Her Advisory Success

In the world of financial planning, providing advice to clients for the first time can be an intimidating experience. However, for Anna Sidat, our Chartered Financial Planner and Financial Planning Manager, her extraordinary achievements in international kickboxing played a pivotal role in shaping her confidence and poise when facing clients.

Anna's remarkable story recently caught the attention of Citywire New Model Adviser, a leading financial planning industry publication, which featured her in a blog post written by Ayesha Khan. The article sheds light on how Anna's kickboxing journey equipped her with the tenacity and self-assurance necessary to thrive in the world of financial advice.

How a kickboxing gold medal helped Anna Sidat punch into advice
Chartered financial planner Anna Sidat’s kickboxing career gave her the confidence to meet clients for the first time.
By Ayesha Khan
Many planners find giving advice for the first time a daunting experience. For Anna Sidat, her previous achievements in international kickboxing meant she was not worried about sitting in front of clients.
Sidat started kickboxing at 13 years old. By the time she was 15, she was leading martial arts classes of 100 people.
‘From a young age I had the client-facing experience, so when I began giving advice, it came easily,’ she says.
Both her career in finance and kickboxing have seen fast progression. Sidat became a gold medallist at the 2016 World Kickboxing Championship, where she represented England, and in 2019, just five years after she began studying, she became one of the youngest people in the country to qualify as a chartered financial planner.
After graduating from the University of Leicester in 2014 with a first-class degree in economics, Sidat began working as an account manager for Mattioli Woods, a financial planning firm and wealth manager headquartered in Leicester.
‘I was aware of financial planning as a career path because Mattioli Woods would often come to my university and give talks, so I had my eye on that path for a long time,’ she says.
Bob Woods, co-founder and former chair of Mattioli Woods, recognised Sidat’s ambition and would often take her on the road with him to meetings with clients.
‘It was a unique opportunity that hadn’t been offered before,’ Sidat says. ‘He saw I was passionate about getting into a financial planning role, so he let me shadow him around the country.’
She now works at Woodgate Financial Planning, an appointed representative of Chesterton House, with assets under advice of £170m.
‘From kickboxing, I had the values of discipline, respect and resilience instilled in me, and that reflects in the way I now work. No challenge ever feels too big.’
While Sidat is aware her background has given her plenty of self-assurance and self-belief, she appreciates that many women are put off by the lack of diversity in advice.
‘Martial arts is very male-dominated too, so when I started working in financial services I wasn’t hesitant or put off by it, but I know a lot of women might be.
‘However, women do need to know that there is a big demand and need for female advisers. It’s a lot about trust and relationship building, and if you are a client, talking to another woman can really help because you know they understand your experience.’
For those worried their youth is a barrier to getting into advice, Sidat believes this should not hold people back either.
‘I have been giving advice since I was 23. People told me that no one would take me seriously, but that’s a load of rubbish. I have walked in those shoes, worked hard and I have built up a fantastic client base and career.’
Sidat’s favourite part of her role is how her clients often send photos of themselves achieving the goals she has helped them plan for, whether it be visiting the Grand Canyon or buying a new home.
‘My job is like second nature to me, and I love seeing people’s plans come to fruition. If you want to be an adviser, you need to be completely trustworthy and genuine. You need to treat clients like they are your mum and do right by them.’
Ultimately, Sidat is proof that nothing can stop a highly motivated adviser from flourishing in the profession.


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